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Brazil proposes looser fiscal rules to spur growth  SAO PAULO: Brazil's government has proposed changes to a fiscal responsibility law that set the foundation for a decade of economic prosperity in Latin America's largest economy, two local newspapers said on Saturday.   The changes would make it easier for the government to cut Brazil's high tax burden and enact other stimulus measures after two years of slow economic growth, but they could also rattle investors who fear President Dilma Rousseff has been too quick to modify bedrock economic principles.   Changing part of the law enacted in 2000 would remove "the shackles of economic policy," an unnamed source from the finance ministry told Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper.   A finance ministry spokesman did not respond to an emailed request for comment.   Rousseff's economic team included the proposed changes in a bill aimed at fiscal reform at the state level on Friday, the newspapers said. That day, the government also posted a deficit of 5.5 ...

Bolivia nationalizes Spanish owned electrical utilities LA PAZ: Bolivian President Evo Morales announced on Saturday the nationalization of electrical utilities owned by the Spanish company Iberdrola.   Morales announced a decree targeting Iberdrola-owned utilities in the cities of La Paz and Oruro.   Back in May, the leftist Morales nationalized a subsidiary of another Spanish power group, Red Electrica Corporacion.   Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2012 ...
Argentina asks US court to block payouts for debt holdouts NEW YORK: Argentina is urging a US appeals court to reverse an order requiring the country to pay $1.33 billion to creditors who did not participate in its two debt restructurings, a legal case that could have huge ramifications for global debt markets.   Lawyers for Argentina's government said in court papers filed late on Friday that a trial judge was "wrong to ignore the chorus of voices" who opposed his November order on payments to so-called ...
Venezuelan VP in Cuba to visit ailing Chavez HAVANA: Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro arrived in Cuba early Saturday to visit ailing President Hugo Chavez who was recovering in Havana following his December 11 cancer surgery.   The official Cuban newspaper Granma said Maduro was accompanied by Venezuelan Attorney General Cilia Flores and was met at the airport by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.   The paper said the Venezuelan vice president headed from the airport to greet members of the Chavez family and Venezuelan Science and ...
Chavez CARACAS: Ailing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Friday he is "fighting for his health" in Cuba as he recovers from cancer surgery.   "During this Christmas season... I have had to fight for my health again, in order to continue devoting myself completely for the happiness of Venezuela," Chavez said in a message read by Vice President Nicolas Maduro.   He thanked the "commitment and loyalty" of his supporters "in this very difficult time."   Maduro announced that he was heading ...
Unemployment at three years low: Chile SANTIAGO: Chilean manufacturing output grew a weaker-than-expected 0.8 percent in November from a year earlier, dampened by sluggish external demand and fewer working days, the state statistics agency said on Friday.   The relatively new index, broadly comparable to the prior industrial output index, fell a seasonally adjusted 3.5 percent in November from October, after surging the previous month on the back of extra working days.   Analysts and economists in a Reuters poll forecast manufacturing production growth of ...
Dakota Indians mark hangings of 1862 with trek on horseback ST. PAUL: The day after Christmas will be somber for Dakota Indians marking what they consider a travesty of justice 150 years ago, when 38 of their ancestors were executed in the biggest mass hanging in US history.   Overshadowed by the Civil War raging in the East, the hangings in Mankato, Minnesota, on Dec. 26, 1862, followed the often overlooked six-week US-Dakota war earlier that year a war that marked the start of three decades of ...


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.664 bln
Exports $1.966 bln
Imports $3.630 bln
WeeklyJanuary 25, 2015
Reserves $15.019 bln